Saturday, January 8, 2011


Has anybody noticed that it’s been a pretty good year around the league for crashing the boards? Answer: um yeah, everybody’s noticed. Kevin Love’s out of his mind in Minnesota, 15.6 boards per game with a season high so far of 31 against New York. Toss in 32 double-doubles to date. That is not a typo. The last time anyone was munching that kind of glass was Rodman and of course, guys like Moses, Russell and Wilt before that.

It’s not just Love though, Dwight Howard’s putting up perennially good rebound stats at 13.3; Blake Griffin’s 12.7 boards go hand-in-hand with a steady diet of gravity-defying crunch-dunks; Zack Randolph is just a tick below at 12.6; Marcus Camby’s snagging 11.3 in this, his 15th year in the league and none other than our own Pau Gasol has 10.5 boards to go with his 18.5 ppg.  Also worth mentioning is teammate Lamar Odom's 9.6 rpg to go with 15.6 points.

Maybe it’s just me but there seems to be a premium on the inside game this season, it could simply be a factor of highlight reels or the way games are being called or maybe it’s that teams are finally coming to grips with the reality that post play wins championships. Dissenters might say that the leaders in bent rims aren’t necessarily on winning teams. Then again it’s hard to argue against a wall of Pau, Bynum and Odom when all three are healthy.

Last night brought the third win in a row by the Lakers, starting to get back on track after their recent malaise. Pau came out of whatever funk's been curbing his game as of late - the win against the Hornets wasn’t a blowout but it did feature team effort, high-percentage shots and solid work inside the arc. A camera shot immediately post-game had Pau and Bynum enjoying great bonhomie - announcer Joel Meyers simply observed, "there’s our towers of power".

The major buzz going into the game concerned Kobe’s interview with air-horn reporter Pete Vecsey, the astonishing revelation that he doesn’t have a whole lot of cartilage left in his right knee after three surgeries and 15 seasons. I’ve never much liked Vecsey, he juices a story like a jockey with a battery.  It was nice to see the focus shift to Kobe’s signature night, laying down 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting, moving past Oscar Robertson into the 9th slot on the all-time scoring list. In other knee news, Matt Barnes went down with a sprain in the second quarter.  An MRI confirmed a torn meniscus, out for several weeks.  Ron will pick up more minutes, Kobe will slide to the wing some, Luke will play and maybe even Devin Ebanks who has been called back from the D-league.

Tomorrow brings a visit from the ever-improving Knicks.  I don't know what it is about Sunday games for the Lakers, they never seem especially aware but it may be different this time, they seem to have flipped the mighty on-switch, once again.


  1. Way too much ball today! My head is about to explode!!!

  2. Oh, one more thing. In that last game, Joel Meyers made a Slava reference. I was wondering if you had any insights into what he was talking about? I didn't really understand his comment.

  3. I didn't catch Joel's reference but I'm glad the mighty Medvedenko isn't totally forgotten. Perhaps a max contract still awaits.